Posted By Simon Montford on Dec 1 2014
According to a study by the CDC in the States, sleep is becoming an increasing threat to public health. Sleep insufficiency has been linked to road accidents, industrial disasters, and many other occupational failures. In the UK, 25% of the population suffer from some form of sleep disorder, according to private healthcare providers Bupa.
Anything that can be done to improve sleep is, therefore, a very good thing! So what can be done? Sleeping pills are a drastic measure and should only be used as a last resort. They tend to make you drowsy the following day and have been linked to chronic illness and even dementia! So what can be done?
Well they say prevention is the best cure so make sure you follow all the usual recommendations such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and bright light (TVs and laptops) at least an hour before you hit the sack. Also a good bed with a comfortable mattress is highly recommended - all pretty obvious really. In addition, there are plenty of apps that can help insomniacs get a good night's sleep. We recommend Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson (iOS, Android), Insomnia Cure (iOS), and Calm.com.
So what other technologies are there out there that can help? Well getting yourself a sleep monitor is a good place to start as you can't manage what you don't measure, as the saying goes. Sleep monitoring has become a standard feature on most fitness trackers such as FitBit, Jawbone, and Basis. You can also purchase dedicated sleep trackers such as Hello's SENSE or Beddit. Another option is to download a sleep tracking app, there are plenty to choose from. We recommend Sleep Tracker (iOS), SleepBot, Sleep Cycle (iOS), Sleep (iOS), and Motionx24/7 or why not enhance your dreams with an Aurora by iWinks or give Neuro:On a try?
Two further weapons that can be added to the insomniac's armoury are earplugs and sound machines, but both have major downsides. Firstly, earplugs have physical limitations in blocking out sound, and sound machines are limited in how much sound they can mask. Also there's a risk that the morning alarm won't be heard, creating further anxiety, which can also affect sleep.
Hush aims to solve this problem. The creators of this innovative product have designed wireless noise masking earplugs that offer a superior level of noise isolation and come with many additional features. For example, Hush can be configured to play soothing sounds or white noise to help you nod off. The smart earplugs can also be configured to activate a personal alarm that won't wake anyone other than the wearer, and it comes with a notification filter so only important or urgent alerts can be heard.
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